NZ welcomes stronger sanctions on North Korea - Brownlee


Both China and Russian Federation - both of whom have veto power - had expressed scepticism about the severity of the sanctions while little political effort was being made to resolve the crisis.

The final resolution contains reduced sanctions on oil and no longer proposes blacklisting the North Korean leader, a copy obtained by Reuters news agency shows.

North Korea illegally exported coal, iron and other commodities worth at least $270 million to China and other countries including India, Malaysia and Sri Lanka in the six-month period ending in early August in violation of sanctions, United Nations experts say.

Ahead of the vote, North Korea warned the United States that it would pay a "due price" if harsh sanctions were passed by the Security Council.

North Korea was condemned globally for its latest nuclear test on September 3, which it said was of an advanced hydrogen bomb.

Pyongyang said it "has developed and perfected the super-powerful thermonuclear weapon as a means to deter the ever-increasing hostile moves and nuclear threat of the US", and to "defuse the danger of nuclear war looming over the Korean peninsula".

Haley said the resolution demonstrated global unity against the regime in Pyongyang, and she claimed that the new sanctions, if enforced, would affect the vast majority of the country's exports.

"We must stop its march towards a nuclear arsenal with the ability to deliver it anywhere in the world", she said of North Korea.

Britain's U.N. Ambassador Matthew Rycroft, who backs "robust" new sanctions, said Thursday that the US proposals to ban all oil imports and textile exports and prohibit North Koreans from working overseas - which helps fund and fuel the country's nuclear and missile programs - are "a proportionate response" to its "illegal and reckless behavior". The Observer says that the U.S. is looking to persuade fellow members of the UN Security Council to enact an oil embargo and a naval blockade on the hermit state.

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Though Russia voted in favor of the resolution on Monday, President Vladimir Putin earlier downplayed the effectiveness of sanctions given North Korea's unrelenting nuclear ambitions.

A Security Council resolution needs nine votes in favoUr and no vetoes to pass.

Though, North Korea has yet to respond to the sanctions. "It remains on the table at the Security Council and we will insist on it being considered".

"This is money that North Korea will not be able to put towards its illegal nuclear and missile programmes", Mr Brownlee says.

Some diplomats estimate that between 60,000 and 100,000 North Koreans work overseas.

U.S. envoy to the UN Nikki Haley said "we are trying to prod North Korea to do the right thing", adding: "We are now acting to stop it from doing the wrong thing".

It calls upon states to inspect ships on the high seas if there are reasonable grounds to suspect it contains prohibited items.

Neither side is likely to want to risk escalating economic tensions too far however, with trade between the two nations a year ago totalling $648.2bn, according to USA government figures.